A Collection of Questions, New and Old, that Howard Gardner has Received, and Responded to, Over the Years

Most questions about MI can be found by reviewing this PDF of FAQs, compiled by Howard Gardner:

Howard Gardner FAQ Responses PDF

On occasion, Howard Gardner will receive an interesting or novel question about MI. These unique correspondences are what follow:


Dear Dr. Gardner,

I have been wondering about the intelligences that are involved with great detectives. Surely a high logical-mathematical ability is essential when making deductions, but I also know that great detectives must have sharp observational skills. One thing that Sherlock Holmes would always note in the books is that people often see but they do not observe. I am really horrible with my observational skills and I wish to improve them. I was thinking that maybe this was spatial intelligence, but then I remembered that naturalistic intelligence is also involved with noticing subtle details. So is it spatial, naturalistic, both, or some other intelligence?

An Aspiring Cognitive Scientist

Dear Aspiring Cognitive Scientist,

Good question! I don’t think that there is a ‘right answer’ but before I got to your own hypothesis, I also invoked naturalist intelligence.  So if we could study Holmes’ brain and Holmes’ mind, we might find that he has a high amount of naturalist intelligence.

Howard Gardner